Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
~ Mary Oliver
My father was good at noticing the beautiful, tiny details of the world around him. He did not notice how messy the garage was. There was an ongoing conversation between he and my mother about the state of their garage for sure, but there were also times their conversations turned to the color of the sunset, or the water on the lake and how it looked like glass. Both of them were taken in by the beauty and the ongoings of the woods and the shores of mountain lakes, rivers and streams. And as they grew older, and their worlds became smaller, they turned to their backyard. The birdbath was always full of fresh water and the feeders full of seeds. Their yard was dressed in flowers and they noticed. A single rose sat in a vase on their table during the summer, usually picked by my father. He would often stop and pick it up and smell it, or comment on the color. He noticed, he paid attention, he was amazed.
I write a lot here about seeking balance and noticing; stumbling my way into mindfulness in my own way. (Lately I have been thinking I might need to take a class, but more on that later!)
I also write about paying attention and consciously pursuing moments, bringing them in close to my heart and taking note. And it seems that every day, if I work at being present in all that I do, I am gifted and astonished.
I head outside to the yard often with my camera, Basil at my feet. I tell him we were going to take a little inventory and see what we might notice. Hey wait, didn't we just do this? His eyes ask. But he is always a willing participant.
I do sometimes have to ask myself; how many times are you going to turn your lens on those forget-me-nots? Well, apparently one more time. Because, just like I never get tired of waking up to the birds first thing in the morning, I never tire of noticing them.
Jordan will be home from The Bahama's in about 48 hours, just for a few weeks before he heads to Alaska for the summer. I also have an exciting trip to Connecticut planed for four days, during his time at home. A trip which has been in the making for a long time; a trip where I will be meeting up with 20+ other woman from all over the world, most of who I have never met, but grown to love so. Woman who I have shared so much with; woman who were in my Now You class with me.
So I might be a bit scarce around here for a while. I have told myself I can take a break from blogging. I can be mindful while he is home and take in all that he can give me. I will be competing with his sweet girl friend, his brothers and his friends after all.
I will still be posting my 365, under daily moments, so you can catch up there if you would like. And, I might be back to write about the Now You gathering or maybe the forget-me-nots! Who knows! But just in case I am gone for a while, I wanted to let you know.
I listened to Mary Oliver a few days ago on the podcast On Being. It was so good. The host shared a recording of her young daughter reading The Summer Day and it was so delightful. So I am posting the poem here for you. If you are a podcast listener, check this one out, you won't be disappointed.
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
have a wonderful weekend,